August 11 Election!

Be ready to vote with LWV resources!

Vote411.org website

Look for voting information on Vote411.org and on this website. The League is preparing to help you choose Portland’s next City Commissioner for Position 2.  Two candidates, Dan Ryan and Loretta Smith, are running to fill this vacant seat. To help you compare them, we held a debate. You will find the video of the debate posted on Vote411.org OR click here for our August 11 Special Election page under Vote.  In addition, both websites will show the candidates’ written answers to six questions about current city issues. The video and candidates’ answers are available on demand from July 22 through Election Day.

Vote July 23 through Election Day, Tuesday, August 11.

Ballots were mailed to Portland voters beginning on Wednesday July 22.  To vote in this special election, voters must register by July 21. The last day to mail your ballot is Thursday, August 6. However, you can drop your ballot off at an official drop site up until 8 pm on August 11.

For more information, see the Multnomah County Elections website.

 

Change Portland’s Government!

We have a new Position!

The Board of Directors of the Portland League has approved a new – and dramatically different – advocacy position on Portland’s City Government.

The position is the result of a thorough two-year study of Portland’s government, which led to the report shown at the left. After publishing this report, the study committee presented a panel discussion. Then, groups of League members discussed the findings and agreed upon key changes needed for Portland’s government.

The League’s new City Government position calls for major improvements in the government’s structure and also in the way voters elect the City Councilors. Here are some of our recommendations, which we will use during the City Charter Review process in 2021:

  • improve citizen representation by increasing the number of commissioners
  • institute a city manager
  • establish the City Council as a legislative or policy-setting body
  • elect some or all city councilors by district

You can read the entire new League position by clicking here.

During their two-year study, the study committee read more than 30 source documents. They also interviewed 15 government experts and city officials. Then they wrote their report, The City That Works: Preparing Portland for the Future. You can read the this report here. You may view the video of the panel discussion of Portland’s government here.

New Study of Portland’s Government!

Just Released: Restudy of City government

In September 2019, the League of Women Voters of Portland  completed our city government study, The City that Works: Preparing Portland for the Future.”

Portland League members voted to conduct this two-year restudy of city government in May 2017. Members realized that Portland’s voters needed more up-to-date and complete information to decide on possible changes to the City Charter.

The restudy looks closely at many parts of our current government. It examines strengths and weaknesses of the government’s structure and then explores different options for changing it. The goal is to provide useful ideas for how to improve the government so it serves the people of Portland as well as possible.

Read the study

You can read full text of the study report here.

View the panel Discussion

The video of a panel discussion about Portland’s government is now available here.

The panel included these speakers:

  • Mike Gleason, speaking on Why Do Cities Matter? What Does It Mean to Be a Successful City? Gleason served for 18 years as Eugene’s city manager.
  • Chris Tobkin, addressing the strengths of Portland’s commission form of government. Tobkin worked for Bud Clark during his two terms as Portland Mayor.
  • Julia DeGraw, looking at the weaknesses of the commission form, why it needs to change, and what should be changed.  DeGraw is an  activist and community organizer.
  • Betsy Pratt concluded the panel presentation with additional information on Portland’s government. Pratt was the chair of the League of Women Voters of Portland city government study committee.

The Multnomah Bar Foundation and the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation donated funding for the recording.

Promoting Public Involvement

Promoting public involvement is central to the Portland League’s mission. We believe our democracy works best when the public is involved in decision making.

Letter to City Council

On July 16, we advocated for more public involvement in the process of changing city code. (Click here to see our earlier post.)

Now, we are urging our City Council to involve the public when the City negotiates the next Portland Police Association (PPA) contract. 

 

Our July 30 letter says in part:

…we recommend a robust public engagement process leading into the 2020 negotiations. …we urge you to ensure that the upcoming process involves the community so that their input will have an impact on the outcome.

Portland is a stronger and more vibrant place when its people can bring their skills, knowledge, and lived experiences to the policymaking process.

You can read the entire letter here.

A Related event

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is sponsoring a forum about the contract.  Here are details.

  • Community forum on the Portland Police Association Contract
  • Monday, August 26 from 6-7:30 PM
  • Maranatha Church, 4222 NE 12th at Skidmore.
  • A 20-minute presentation on background; then community input.

Prepare to Vote – 2018 Election Info!

Are you ready to Vote?  Find unbiased information on candidates & issues on Vote411.org.

VOTE411.org is an online Voters’ Guide that shows you the candidates and issues on your ballot. It includes everything in our Voters’ Guide and more. There are links to videos of our forums and of talks with the candidates.

Enter your address to find out about the candidates and ballot measures that you will be voting on.

Printed nonpartisan Oregon & Multnomah County Voters’ Guides

Look for copies of the LWV voters’ guides in English and Spanish at all branches of the Multnomah County Library; the Multnomah County Elections Office; New Seasons and other stores; college, university and community college campuses; Gresham City Hall, churches, markets and many other locations.

Click on the links below to view a pdf of the English General Election guides. (Links to the Spanish guides are in the Informacion Electoral post above.)

Nov. 2018 Oregon Voters’ Guide – English

Nov. 2018 Multnomah Voters’ Guide – English

Video Voters’ Guide – recordings of candidate interviews

Click here to watch Video Voters’ Guide recordings of interviews with candidates running for office in Multnomah County. The Video Voters’ Guide recordings also are linked to each candidate on Vote411.org.

The Video Voters’ Guide includes interviews of candidates for U.S. Congress, Governor, the Oregon State Legislature, Circuit Court, and Metro, County and City offices. There are even interviews with the two candidates in the  election for Judge of the Circuit Court, 4th District.

Election Forums

Watch the videos of our 2018 General Election forums. (Scroll down and click on the title of each debate in the lists below.) See the schedules for the playbacks on Comcast and Frontier channels by clicking here for the October 2 forum and here for the October 9 forum.

Candidate forums

Portland Commissioner Position 3, Candidate Debate – JoAnn Hardesty vs. Loretta Smith

Multnomah County Auditor Candidate Debate – Scott Learn vs. Jennifer McGuirk  (Presented with City Club of Portland)

Ballot measure Forums

Debate on Metro Measure 26-199, Metro affordable housing bonds, plus explanation of Oregon Measure 102, which allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with nongovernmental entities.

Explanation of Oregon Measure 105 – Repeals law limiting state/local enforcement of federal immigration laws

Debate on Oregon Measure 103 – Prohibits taxes/fees for groceries

Debate on Measure 26-201 – Portland’s retailer surcharge for clean energy projects

Short on time? Watch key parts of the forums.

Portland Commissioner Position 3: Candidate Answers to 3 Questions + Closing Remarks

Multnomah County Auditor: Opening, Closing and Answers to 2 Questions

Metro Measure 26-199: Opening, Closing, Answers to 3 Questions

Portland Measure 26-201: Opening and Closing

Oregon Measure 103: Opening and Closing

Oregon Measure 102: Explanation

Sponsors for one or more of the Voter Services listed above are: Carol & Velma Saling Foundation, The Wyss Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Multnomah Bar Foundation, MetroEast Community Media, Vernier Software and Technology, Neil Kelly Company, Paloma Clothing, the Sara Frewing Fund, and LWV of Portland Education Fund.

please be informed and Vote!